Pause the Music

Personally, when studying for a test, I go into a quiet environment. When I have music on, I can not focus and I do not put everything I can into my work.

Having peace and quiet while trying to get a task completed is better than hearing lyrics from songs that distract you. Students should not listen to music while studying because not only does it distract them from doing their work, but it also prevents students from clearly understanding what they are reading or writing and because songs with references to drugs or alcohol have a poor influence on students. First and foremost, when listening to music, students often cannot focus on their work. At the University of Wales, researchers studied whether having the students listen to their favorite or least favorite music had an effect on how they did on a test. They put students in a “steady state music” (few words repeated), “changing state” (variety of words played), and in a quiet environment.

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They state that even if “students enjoyed the music or not, having it on while they worked was just as distracting as hearing someone talk” (Doraiswamy). Even though the students seemed additionally pleased when the music was playing, they were still distracted and did not do well. When the data came back for the remaining environments, they found that “scores were significantly higher for tests taken in a quiet environment” (Doraiswamy). Thus, having students in the environments with the least amount of noise was more beneficial to them. Nonetheless, when they asked the students how their experience with their favorite music was, “students did say that the test with their liked music was more pleasant,’ but they did not find it any less distracting” (Doraiswamy). Even with enjoyable music in the background, the students were still distracted.

People may argue that having the students happy is the most important thought to keep in mind, that students need to be happy in order to do well in school. But a majority of these tests are the key to their future. If the distractions were removed, then students could focus on the task at hand. Ultimately, having music playing in the background while trying to focus is distracting for students. Likewise, listening to music while trying to memorize or learn something prevents one from clearly understanding what they are reading or writing.

When listening to music, it becomes difficult to remember what they were trying to read or write down. Especially “when it comes to memorizing something in order” (Goodwin). Without music in the background, students could finish work at a more efficient rate. Additionally, when it comes to completing assignments, it is recommended to not have any kind of music playing. Having songs with rap or distracting lyrics on while reading or writing makes it harder to concentrate on the material. This can also be told with math, “if you are not using the language parts of your brain” (Goodwin).

When solving math problems one could miss a word, step, or can even miscount. Then the whole problem would be incorrect. Also, some are more likely to be distracted by events around them, especially if they have a lot of thoughts on their mind. When one is listening to music, one’s mind could drift towards the music (Goodwin). When one’s favorite song is playing, it is normal to sing, hum, or dance to the beat, and this might distract them from completing their objectives. But, some may say that they are using music as a stress reliever.

Music could be a stress reliever, but it could cause stress too, like when someone is getting distracted by music, then they would not be able to finish their work. Overall, when it comes to work, music can distract people and prevent them from clearly understanding what they are reading or writing. Conclusively, music with references to drugs or alcohol have a negative effect on people. Most songs have references to objects like drugs, alcohol use, and other substances. The songwriter might have wanted their audience to be adults, but this does not stop kids from listening. The NYT cites The Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine in their research that says, “one in three popular songs contain explicit references to drug or alcohol use. are receiving about 35 references to substance abuse for every hour of music they listen to” (Parker-Pope). This means teenagers are shown 840 references a day (which is probably 2 or 3 days, as kids might not listen to music 24 hours straight). When the University of Pittsburgh was researching this topic, they found “279 of the most popular songs from 2005” contained messages relating to them. They found that “9% of the pop songs had lyrics relating to drugs or alcohol, the number jumped to 14 percent for rock songs, 20 percent for R […] 36 percent for country songs and 77 percent for rap songs” (Parker-Pope).

If teenagers heard these references, they could think that drugs and alcohol could make them cooler. And, with a little persuasion from peer pressure or from themselves, they could be convinced to take them, leading to a harder life. Moreover, a lot of people like to listen to music, especially if they have nothing to do, or if they are in a boring atmosphere. According to the NYT, studies have shown most teenagers being “exposed to approximately 84 references to explicit substance use per day.” In a week, they are shown “591 references” in a year, they are shown “30,732” (Parker-Pope). With every reference they hear, the closer they inch to possibly trying it out.

Some think, “Oh, if Drake is doing it, then it is fine if I do too,” but these teens do not know what kind of problems they will jump into. When they hear these songs that talk about how great these substances can be, then a lot of these kids will think that it is okay to try some. Therefore, if people refrain children from listening to negative music references, they would not be influenced in doing them. Aforementioned, people should stop from listening to music while trying to do their work. Everyday, students listen to music not knowing that it is harmful to their learning and also their future.

By letting music get in the way of students’ learning and education, we are pulling them away from a better future. Having music playing in the background could distract one from completing their tasks and prevent one from understanding what they are reading and writing. Songs could also have references to drugs or alcohol which has a destructive influence on them. If we want future generation to be smart and innovative, we need to rid these distractions and lead them to focus on themselves. If we help now, then they will carry a majority of what they learned into their adulthood.

With the proper learning, and little distractions, this generation’s children can be the stairway to a brighter future.